Sailing in Lake Lucerne

July 16-17, 2017

A colleague of Dan’s invited us to join in for an overnight sailing trip on Lake Lucerne. It had been years since Dan and I have been on a boat, although we talk about it once in a while. Unfortunately, Switzerland does not recognize our certifications, never mind the fact that we live nowhere near any lakes. We were excited to get back out on the water! We hopped on a train to Lucerne, met up with Urs and got ready to go sailing!

At the marina at Lake Lucern

Our rental boat

Getting it all rigged up!

Leaving Lucern (and Mt Pilatus) behind

What lies before us

We had left the marina fairly late in the day, with the plan to anchor in a small bay for the night and then spend the next day zooming around the Vierwaldstättersee. Urs rents boats frequently, so he knew what he was doing – good thing, too, since it had been while for Dan and I.

One of the many ferries to watch out for

Taking my turn at the helm

Pulling into the bay for the evening

Sunset behind the trees

We had brought food to cook onboard and spent the evening enjoying it and the peacefulness of the lake. There were a few other boats in the bay and fortunately they were all quiet. This was my first time sleeping on a boat and I found the slight movement very relaxing. I slept well.

An early morning swim – brrrr!

Swiss flag on the mountainside

Fishing in the cold water

Boat garage!

Schillerstein – In 1859 the cantons converted the obelisk-shaped stone into a monument to Friedrich Schiller, the author of “Wilhelm Tell”

We had entered the Urnersee basin, clearly the most popular lobe of the lake. Boats of all sizes and configurations plied the water, wind surfers darted around, and kite surfers leapt into the air. This meant that we really had to keep our eyes peeled to be sure that we stayed out of everyone’s way. Dan and I practiced our “right of way” rules with Urs correcting us if (when) we got it wrong. We certainly had plenty of opportunity to practice!


This guy was fun to watch!

Checking out Tell’s Chapel

Giving a sense of scale to the surrounding mountains

The town of Brunnen

Heading home under sunnier skies

We were very close to the marina when the wind died. Fortunately we had the motor to keep us moving. Unfortunately, the motor died, too. We found that we could run it for about five minutes at a time before it started to overheat. That, coupled with a very light touch on the sails, eventually got us into the marina and docked.

And then we hit the doldrums

And that, my friends, was our first Swiss sailing excursion!

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